Pavilion Lake is a lake in Marble Canyon, British Columbia, Canada. It is located between the towns of Lillooet and Cache Creek (29.44 kilometres WNW, as the crow flies, from Cache Creek) and lies along BC Highway 99, 8.85 highway kilometres (northeast then southeast) from Pavilion, British Columbia. Part of a karst formation, the lake is most notable for being home to colonies of microbialites, a type of stromatolite, and has become the subject of astrobiology research by NASA, the Canadian Space Agency, and research institutions from around the world. The research falls under the umbrella of the Pavilion Lake Research Project. The lake area and its foreshore were added to Marble Canyon Provincial Park in order to protect its special scientific and heritage values.
|Primary outflows||Pavilion Creek|
|Max. length||5.8 kilometers (3.6 mi)|
|Max. width||0.8 kilometers (0.50 mi)|
|Max. depth||65 meters (213 ft)|
|Surface elevation||820 meters (2,690 ft)|
There is a small community of lakeshore residences, some recreational and seasonal only, located on the lake's eastern shore adjacent to the highway. The lake is overlooked by the cliffs of Marble Canyon, which is the southern buttress of the Marble Range, and the forests of the northernmost Clear Range. Also overlooking the lake is Chimney Rock (K'lpalekw in Secwepemc'tsn, "Coyote's Penis"), which like the lake and the canyon have spiritual significance to the adjoining native communities, the Tskwaylaxw people of Pavilion and the Bonaparte band of Secwepemc at Upper Hat Creek. One of the rancheries and a rodeo and pow-wow ground of the Pavilion Band is located at Marble Canyon's south entrance.
- Pavilion Lake Research Project website
- Map and pictures from SFU site
- description of site from SFU website
- Location map and images from Nature magazine
- Article in Astrobiology Magazine